Pluribus AM: Warning lights in CA, tax rebates in MN and AL, new polls all over the place

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. In today’s edition: Warning lights on in Calif. budget numbers; Minn., Ala. sending out tax rebates; lots of new polls in Pa., Fla., Mich., Calif.


CALIFORNIA: State budget officials reported falling about $2 billion short of revenue projections at the end of the fiscal year after several years of record-breaking returns, in what lawmakers worry is a potential sign of a broader revenue slowdown. California is unusually dependent on capital gains taxes for its revenue, but the weakness in the stock market could spread to other states. (Pluribus News)

MISSOURI: The state Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday approved a $40 million package of tax credits aimed at farmers. The full Senate is expected to act today on the six-year credits, after Gov. Mike Parson (R) vetoed an earlier bill covering just two years. The credits target gas stations selling ethanol, meat processors and urban farms. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

MONTANA: A state judge has declared unconstitutional new laws ending same-day voter registration, raising identification requirements on students and barring outside groups from collecting absentee ballots. Native American groups had sued to block the new laws; state elections officials did not immediately say whether they would appeal. (Associated Press)

VIRGINIA: Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is scaling back his predecessor’s goal of transitioning entirely to renewable energy by 2050. In a new energy plan released Monday, Youngkin called for a new small modular nuclear reactor to be deployed in Southwest Virginia in the next decade. The smaller reactors generate about one-third the power of a traditional plant. (Daily Press)

MINNESOTA: More than a million Minnesotans who worked on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic will begin receiving $487 bonus checks, Gov. Tim Walz (D) said Monday. The state approved 1,025,655 applications from front line workers over the summer. (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)

ALABAMA: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) says she is exploring tax rebates after the state closed out its fiscal year with a surplus. No specifics yet, but Ivey said she would work with the legislature to come up with a plan in next year’s session. House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R) is onboard. (Yellow Hammer News,

GEORGIA: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Monday signed an executive order suspending the 29.1-cent gas tax through Nov. 11, three days after he faces voters in his re-election bid. Kemp has announced new monthly exemptions every month since May. The average price of a gallon of gas is $3.17 in Georgia, about 60 cents lower than the national average. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

COLORADO: The number of individuals receiving gender-affirming care rose more than 300% between 2016 and 2021 after the state Medical Services Board began requiring insurers to offer transition-related care benefits. The change doesn’t take effect until 2023, but insurers are already including the package in their plans. (Pluribus News)

NEW YORK: The semiconductor manufacturer Micron will spend up to $100 billion over the next 20 years to build a new plant in Clay, about 15 miles outside of Syracuse. New York lawmakers put together a $5.5 billion package of tax incentives, one of the largest ever to woo a corporation. (New York Times) These mega-deals have a way of under-delivering. See Boeing, Tesla, Foxconn and myriad others.


PENNSYLVANIA: Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) leads state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) 48%-37% in a new Suffolk University poll conducted for USA Today. Shapiro’s favorable ratings stand at 46%-31%; Mastriano is seen favorably by only 31%, while 47% view him unfavorably. Mastriano is launching his first TV ads today; he’s booked $234,000 in airtime this week. Shapiro’s campaign has already spent $18.6 million on ads. (PennLive)

FLORIDA: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leads ex-Rep. Charlie Crist (D) 49%-41%, according to a new Siena Poll conducted for Spectrum News. DeSantis’s favorable ratings are positive, 50%-43%; Crist’s are underwater, 34%-39%.

MICHIGAN: A new Glengariff Group poll shows Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) leading political commentator Tudor Dixon (R) 50%-32%, wider than her 13-point edge last month. The Republican Governors Association has booked $3.5 million in advertising set to begin running Oct. 12. (Detroit News)

CALIFORNIA: A new Berkeley IGS poll shows two ballot measures that would allow new sports betting options headed for defeat. Proposition 26, which would allow in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and horse racing tracks, trails 31%-42%. Proposition 27, which would legalize online sports betting, trails 27%-53%. Supporters and opponents of both measures have spent a collective $410 million on their campaigns. (Los Angeles Times)

OREGON: Voters appear poised to approve a rare ballot measure restricting gun rights. A new poll conducted for The Oregonian finds 51% of voters back Measure 114, which would require a background check and safety training to acquire a firearm, create a police-maintained firearm database and prohibit magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds. The poll found 39% oppose the measure.

ARKANSAS: Libertarian Party candidates must appear on the ballot this year after a federal judge ruled that a 2019 law increasing the number of signatures minor party candidates must collect violated their 1st and 14th Amendment rights. The change had meant Libertarians needed to collect 26,746 valid signatures to appear on the ballot, more than the 10,000 they needed under previous law. (Talk Business & Politics)


Who’s In

  • State legislatures in session this week: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts.
  • States meeting in special session this week: Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina.

By The Numbers

19: The number of television advertisements supporting Michigan gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon (R) that have run this year. By contrast, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) campaign and allies have aired 4,646 individual spots. (Axios Detroit)

$4.2 billion: The amount of money Indiana loses annually because of untreated mental illness, according to the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission. The report asks legislators to boost spending on mental health by $48 million. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Off The Wall

About 30 crypto-mining companies have come to Texas over the past decade, and dozens more are interested. State leaders have promoted Texas as a destination for producers, pointing to low taxes, cheap land and affordable power. Several of those companies moved in after China’s government banned crypto-mining. (Texas Tribune)

Quote of the Day

“The creativity that’s been expressed by some of my counterparts and just working with local governments has been amazing to me. People are really focusing on the work and not the politics of it.”

— Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment Secretary Becky Keogh, one of 54 state “czars” appointed to oversee billions in infrastructure spending. (Pluribus News)